My plan was to get a lot of writing done on the trip. If I could have spent the entire time writing, imagine how much farther my manuscript could have been by the end of the trip. I knew I would have to sleep and take breaks, but I was being optimistic. A little too optimistic as it turns out. Trains have a lot of movement, and swaying back and forth isn't conducive to staring at a computer screen. Still, I got quite a bit done.
In Chicago, my business turned out very well. Some loose ends were tied up nicely and I got to spend time with my wonderful agent, her husband, and some writer friends. We had a couple of great dinners, and at one, we spotted guys who were probably hockey players (after all, we were in Blackhawks territory) and some women who were probably paid escorts. If their skirts had been any shorter they would have been shirts. They weren't with the possible hockey players, by the way.
Then I got the added bonus of crashing a mystery conference. I didn't do much crashing, just mingled for a couple of hours and watched my agent pitch, but it was fun to chat with other writers before riding in a taxi in Chicago rush hour traffic to catch my train. The cab driver was a super guy and kept me entertained. The train ride back was even longer, but I did manage to sleep a teensy bit. Unfortunately, I was seated next to another man. There's something disturbing about sleeping so close to a stranger, especially when he's a man, but you gotta do what you gotta do. At least he didn't take up part of my seat.